gratitude-a-thon day 329: the surgical strike, or operation ally

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C’mon, is this the most hysterical flower arrangement ever, or what?

Let’s just say that surgery is a miracle, modern day magic, making possible things that didn’t used to be possible. Let’s also say, it’s fucking painful. Because that’s what it is, folks. FUCKING PAINFUL.

Ally had ACL reconstruction surgery yesterday. They told us she would have a nerve block that would keep her numb for 20 hours, so we were normal-neurotic parent-worried about her getting through surgery, but we were expecting pain to be on vacation in Hawaii when she woke up. A nurse with a concerned face came into the waiting room to tell us she was out of surgery, thrashing, in a lot of pain, and wanted her mom. She usually wants her dad in clutch situations, so right then and there, I knew things weren’t ok.

Ally toughs pain out like a boxer. She is the anti-me, who is acutely sensitive to the smallest hangnail (although I’m really tolerant of pain, even though I hate it like the woud-be spawn of Anne Coulter married to Donald Trump ). When I got into recovery, I could see she was scared and really hurting. The nurses were concerned that the nerve block hadn’t worked and called for an anaesthesia consult. Apparently, there are two kinds of nerve blocks, and because Ally is a soccer player, her surgeon decided on the one that would allow her to use her quad more quickly, but that makes for more pain.

I won’t do a play by play, but it was a bad day. Getting the pain under control was really difficult. There was nausea and dizziness. (And that was just me, haha!) We tried to leave 5 hours after surgery, and Ally almost fainted and had to be rushed back to recovery by a nurse who was sprinting down the hallway like she was in the Olympic mile, and who kept saying, “She’s going.” “Going?” I thought. GOING WHERE? Five nurses swarmed her like things were dire. They put her on a bed and tipped her head to the ground. I felt like i was watching Grey’s Anatomy, wondering what the hell Shonda Rhimes was up to. An anti-nausea patch, and a shot of some sort of souped up medication brought her back to life, and an hour later we were so outta there.

She came home to a hilarious dog made of carnations bouquet, with a band aid on its paw (yes, that happened) sent by very good friends, one of her best friends came with trashy mags, and her boyfriend brought a teddy bear holding her favorite candy, which she cuddled up to right away, with a big smile on her face. My sister and brother-in-law brought dinner and groceries, and made us food. We all had hundreds of texts and emails asking how she was.

Yes, surgery is something to be goddamn grateful for, and I am. Twenty years ago, Ally would not be able to play college soccer after an injury like this. So, there’s that. But pain comes with this territory (especially for helpless parents). She had a very good night, and slept a lot (Peter, on the other hand, who slept feet from where she was, on the couch, slept on a blow-up bed, and was not so fortunate).

But today is going to be a better day. I just know it. We’re going to use our Game Ready ice machine, and our perpetual motion CPM machine that we need to be on for 10-20 hours a day. And we’re going to take a sponge bath, and hopefully, we’re going to sleep a lot. All of us. SAY IT WITH ME, “TEAM ALLY!”

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